Healthy Butternut Mac and Cheese

A delicious blend of sweetness, cheesiness, and yumminess, Healthy Butternut Mac and Cheese hits the spot! Simple and a family favorite…make it now!


  • 14 oz. bag of Heart Pasta (or 1416 ounces of another short pasta shape)
  • 55 1/2 cups butternut squash (cut into 1-inch pieces, I used 2 packages of 12 oz. Trader Joe’s cut butternut squash – easy!)
  • 4 T. olive oil (2 T. plus 2 T. for breadcrumbs)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup 2% milk (could sub skim milk)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 t. kosher salr
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • For Crispy Sage:
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • fresh sage leaves


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and rinse with cold water and set aside. Toss with some olive oil to avoid sticking.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add cut butternut squash. Gently boil for 6-8 minutes until squash is fork tender.
  3. While squash is cooking, in a medium saute pan, over medium heat, add 2 T. olive oil and saute onion until translucent for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. When squash is done, drain and place back into pot, and over a low heat, add onion, milk and broth, salt and pepper. Using a immersion hand blender, puree squash mixer until smooth,
  5. Add cheeses and nutmeg and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Add pasta to butternut squash mixture and gently toss.
  7. For toasted panko:
  8. In a small pan, toss panko with 2 T. olive oil until slightly browned, stirring constantly. (about 5 minutes)
  9. For crispy sage:
  10. Bring canola oil to 350 degrees in a small sauce pan. (I used a candy thermometer to measure heat).
  11. Drop single sage leaves into hot oil and leave for 15-30 seconds, depending on size of leaves.
  12. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Can make a day ahead and leave out a room temperature.
  13. To serve:
  14. Whether in one large pan, or individual pans, place mac and cheese, top with panko and a few crispy sage leaves.
  15. Enjoy! You’ll love this!
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